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On the Meaning of Economic Efficiency in Policy Analysis


  • Ronald C. Griffin


There are crucial differences in the normative foundations of alternative economic criteria used to assess the "efficiency" of policy proposals. Differences between Pareto and potential Pareto measures are emphasized in this comparison of "efficiency" standards. Technical distinctions between these two criteria are examined and illustrated. It is argued that potential Pareto criteria have greater disciplinary acceptance than their normative foundations merit and, further, that the Pareto measure has suffered undue criticism from association with its potential Pareto namesake.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald C. Griffin, 1995. "On the Meaning of Economic Efficiency in Policy Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 71(1), pages 1-15.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:71:y:1995:i:1:p:1-15

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    Cited by:

    1. Arild Vatn & Daniel Bromley, 1997. "Externalities — A market model failure," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(2), pages 135-151, March.
    2. Centner, Terence J. & Griffin, Ronald C., 1998. "Externalities From Roaming Livestock: Explaining The Demise Of The Open Range," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 23(01), July.

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